4 January 2008
This week's Casey News comes to you from AGSO Paul D.
This is really two weeks at Casey; it combines both Christmas and New Years celebrations into one.
The lead up to Christmas at Casey was a very busy time, with the normal day to day 'business as usual' work being completed, preparation in the kitchen for the sumptuous feast for lunch on the special day, completion of presents for the "Kris Kringle" (which led to a lot of secret goings on in the workshop!) and the preparations for Santa's pending arrival.
All in all it has been a very busy lead up to the end of the year.
Christmas day dawned on what could only be described as one of the most magnificent days of weather ever to grace the Antarctic. People hurried about completing last minute preparations, rumour had it that Santa wasn't too far away……expectant expeditioners donned their finery, hair and makeup were applied, clothes preened and pressed and then they waited for the grand old chap to arrive.
However, before his arrival there was a grand moment when we were able to share the season's cheer with our fellow expeditioners at Mawson and Davis via a video hook-up. Many people passed season's greeting and messages to each other. Technology has really come a long way in the Antarctic.
Then it was time…..the word passed quickly through the Station that Santa was coming.
Santa took time to greet the Caseyites before heading inside to dish out the presents.
Then it was inside to deliver the presents.
Lunch…..and oh what a feast. skillfully prepared by chefs Frank H and Richard T. There are restaurants with 3 Michelin Stars that are envious of the skills of our esteemed chefs.
Seafood, roasts, vegetables, salad, cakes, dips, cheeses: the list was endless, the choices inconceivable. Paul D had spent the night before carving an Adelie penguin out of ice which was put to good use to keep the seafood cool.
Flags of many nations added to the colourful decorations of the dining hall and the table was beset with the finest Casey silverware, special collectors' editions of the menu and the wine was opened and left to breathe.
We were treated to a musical indulgence by the operatic voices of the Casey Coral Carollers with some stirring renditions, albeit the Antarctic versions, of our favourite carols.
After lunch people retired to various places around Station, some played Frisbee on the Helipad at the front door, making use of the sunshine, others rested after a big morning, and some caught a few winks.
New Years Eve at Casey was celebrated in fine style, with a "Fantasy" dress up night. There were some interesting interpretations on the term fantasy with many coming as movie figures, others dressing up, or down as the case may be, to varying degrees!
The Casey night club and disco was in full swing as we counted down the time to midnight. On the stroke of 12:00 cheers and congratulations were passed around, hands were shaken and wishes for a happy and prosperous new year made.
Some people let out their new years resolutions to each other while others kept quiet. The party to welcome 2008 was a fine affair and continued on well into the night.
So as we here at Casey prepare for the coming 2008 we wish all of your family, friends and fellow expeditioners health and prosperity for the coming year and good tidings.